cover image Diary Volume 1 Op

Diary Volume 1 Op

Witold Gombrowicz. Northwestern University Press, $29.95 (232pp) ISBN 978-0-8101-0714-4

In novels and plays such as Comos, Pornografia and The Marriage, Polish avant-garde writer Gombrowicz delineated the colossal pressures that impinge on us from all sides and force us to falsify our existence. His Diary, kept as an expatriate in Argentina, is a soaring work of the spirit that redeems the crushing uneventfulness of daily reality. The writer rails at his fellow Poles to stop imitating the West and explore their own identity. He delivers a scathing indictment of the Communist collective mentality, yet he finds little to applaud in what he considers American provincialism. By turns lofty and clowning, combative and profound, this first of three projected volumes confronts the spiritual paralysis of our time. Gombrowicz calls his journals ""chaotic scribbling,'' but he comes across as a latter-day prophet, resolutely true to himself. (January 22)